In Review: Under the Silver Lake

David Robert Mitchell previously turned pastiche into high terror with It Follows, a quasi-giallo horror film that used sexual metaphor to both reinforce and solidify genre. His follow-up Under the Silver Lake does the same and then some, this time setting its sights on film noir traditions and even the slacker comedy. This time, Mitchell is ambitious without abandon, crafting another grimey piece of thoughtful genre exercise but miring it in intentional obliqueness. For better or worse (and there are equal doses of both qualifiers), Under the Silver Lake feels like Mitchell prematurely cashing in on all of his earned credit.

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For Your Consideration: Best Original Score – “It Follows”

Playing the long game at the global film festival circuit a full year prior to nationwide American release, David Robert Mitchell’s Argento/Carpenter horror hybrid It Follows was a minor hit this past spring – enough so to cancel its original VOD release plan due to strong box office – and was the strongest entry in a poor year for the genre. An auspicious breakthrough for Mitchell (who scored a Best Director nomination last week from the Independent Spirit Awards), the film excels through harmonious design elements that serve an open metaphor that dynamically allows various interpretations – and also rattle even the toughest of nerves.

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From the lushly terrifying cinematography to the deliberate and confident editing, all crafts on display in Follows form a complex whole that recalls slasher genre origins where the Big Ideas frightened us more than than a hyperactive construction. But the single most effective contribution on display is the diverse and unsettling score by Disasterpeace. In sync with Mitchell’s throwback intentions, but avoiding cliches or copycatting, the film’s scares both subtle and overt are owed greatly to Disasterpeace’s work .

Check out the terrifying music selection from the film’s startling opening sequence after the jump. Best Original Score Oscar Predictions

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